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Born in North Carolina in 1961, Victor Allen has lived a charmed, black and white, and almost disreputable life. Turned down by the military at age seventeen because of a bad heart (We would take, his recruiter told him, the women and children before we would take you), he spent a wasted year at NCSU, where he augmented his scant college funds by working part-time as a stripper (what the heck? Everybody looks good when they're eighteen), a pastime he quickly gave up one night when he discovered -to his mortification- his divorced, middle-aged mother sitting in the audience. Giving NCSU the good old college miss, he satisfied his adventurous spirit and wanderlust by moving out West in his late teens, first to Colorado and later, Wyoming, and working in the construction trades.
Uprooted from his small town upbringing and thrust into a world of real Cowboys and Indians, oil field roughnecks, biker gangs and pool sharks, he spent his youth travelling the country, following the work, settling at various times in Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Along the way he met a myriad of interesting people including Hollywood, a young, Native American man, so called because he wore his sunglasses all the time, even at night; Cinderella K from Owensville, Missouri (the nice laundry lady who turned his shorts into pinkies); Lori P., the Colorado snake lady and her pet boa constrictor, Amanda; the pool hustler par excellence, Johnny M.; TJ, Moon, and Roundman, good folks, but bikers, all; his little blond girlfriend, Lisa; Maureen, the very funny lady from London with the very proper English accent, who he met while living outside of Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC, and her daughter, Marie, with her practically incomprehensible cockney twang; the ever bubbly Samantha from FLA; and all the (well, never mind). :-). Plus way too many others too numerous to list.
He has weathered gunfire, barroom brawls (I didn't get this crooked nose and all these scars on my face from kissin), a three-day mechanical breakdown in the heart of the Louisiana bayous, drunken riots- complete with car burnings and overturnings, Budweiser, bonfires and shootin' irons (it was all in good fun, though,)- ; a hundred year blizzard, floods, two direct lightning strikes, a hurricane which sent a tree crashing through his roof, and an unnerving late night encounter with a man who subsequently proved to be a murderer, surviving it all with a rather uncomprehending smile and, by his own admission, a whole lot of luck and the grace of God.
He met his wife, Leslie, a native Bostonian, in 1986. They were married in 1990. She providentially cooled his jets and settled him down into some semblance of normalcy and they remain together to this day, twenty-six years later, living in an old farmhouse in a small, North Carolina town.
But it would be a shame to let all those good times languish unforgotten and they -plus many more unnoted- are still there, in the books.
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